Charlotte Chevrolet qualifying notes

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Park will race the same Monte Carlo he drove earlier this season at Indianapolis and the second Michigan race. It finished 16th at Indy and 33rd at Michigan. Park finished 11th last week...

STEVE PARK (No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Park will race the same Monte Carlo he drove earlier this season at Indianapolis and the second Michigan race. It finished 16th at Indy and 33rd at Michigan. Park finished 11th last week at Martinsville and stands 12th in the NASCAR Winston Cup Standings (NWCS). He's 30 points behind 11th-place Mike Skinner.

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) Earnhardt raced this Monte Carlo earlier this year at Charlotte in The Winston and Coca-Cola 600. It also raced at Texas and the second Michigan race. Earnhardt's backup Monte Carlo for Charlotte is the car he won with earlier this season at Atlanta. Earnhardt finished second last week at Martinsville and ranks second in the NWCS, 213 points behind leader Bobby Labonte. Earnhardt gained 36 points on Labonte last week at Martinsville. If he averages a 36-point gain in the next six races, Earnhardt would win the title by three points if one of the drivers behind him doesn't gain more.

BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Kodak MAX Film Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Hamilton will drive his Michigan Monte Carlo at Charlotte. He finished 14th on Aug. 20 at Michigan in that car. Hamilton started 13th in the Coca-Cola 600 and finished 34th. He finished 35th last week at Martinsville and ranks 31st in the NWCS.

TERRY LABONTE (No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Labonte will drive the same Monte Carlo at Charlotte that finished 15th at Atlanta and seventh in The Winston. Labonte finished 17th last week at Martinsville and ranks 18th in the NWCS.

MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 7 NationsRent Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Waltrip drove his Charlotte Monte Carlo in the Pepsi Southern 500 at Darlington. A blown engine relegated Waltrip to a 40th-place finish in that event. He finished 18th in the 600 in May, 24th last week at Martinsville and ranks 27th in the NWCS.

DALE EARNHARDT Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Earnhardt Jr. will drive his Coca-Cola 600 Monte Carlo on Sunday. It won the pole and finished fourth here in May and also won earlier this season at Texas. Earnhardt Jr. finished 36th last week at Martinsville and ranks 16th in the NWCS.

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) Gordon will drive chassis No. 2440 on Sunday. It's been a workhorse this season, competing in both Darlington races, California, the Coca-Cola 600, second Michigan and Brickyard 400 at Indy. Gordon finished fifth last week at Martinsville and ranks ninth in the NWCS. He has three wins, eight top fives and 17 top 10 finishes to his credit in 2000. JERRY NADEAU (No. 25 Michael Holigan.com Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Nadeau will drive his Brickyard 400 Monte Carlo at Charlotte. He finished fourth at Indy and 12th with it in the second Michigan race. Nadeau finished 12th last week at Martinsville and ranks 23rd in the NWCS.

MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Skinner will also drive the same Monte Carlo he raced at Indy and the second Michigan. He finished ninth and 16th, respectively, in those events. Skinner finished eighth last week at Martinsville and ranks 11th in the NWCS.

JOE NEMECHEK (No. 33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Nemechek's Charlotte Monte Carlo has competed in both Dover races this season as well as two races at Pocono, both Michigans and California. Nemechek finished 14th last week at Martinsville and ranks 19th in the NWCS.

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Marlin's Charlotte Monte Carlo has been a "workaholic" according to crew chief Scott Eggleston. It's raced at Indy, Atlanta, Darlington, Bristol, Rockingham and the first Dover race. Marlin finished ninth last week at Martinsville and ranks 17th in the NWCS.

TED MUSGRAVE (No. 01 BellSouth Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Musgrave's Monte Carlo raced earlier this season at both Poconos, both Michigans and the Coca-Cola 600. Musgrave finished 21st last week at Martinsville and ranks 42nd in the NWCS.

RICKY CRAVEN (No. 50 Midwest Transit Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Craven drove this Monte Carlo earlier this season at the second Michigan race and finished 37th there. Craven finished 20th last week at Martinsville and ranks 45th in the NWCS. He's competed in only 12 points races this season.

KENNY WALLACE (No. 55 Square D Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Wallace will race the same Monte Carlo he drove earlier this season at California and the first Michigan. Wallace finished 22nd last week at Martinsville and ranks 29th in the NWCS.

DICK TRICKLE (No. 60 Power Team Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Trickle will make his first start of the season in the Power Team Monte Carlo. It's a brand new Monte Carlo as well.

KERRY EARNHARDT (No. 71 RealTree Chevrolet Monte Carlo) Earnhardt will attempt to make his second start of the season in the No. 71 Monte Carlo. He qualified 27th in the second Michigan race and finished 43rd in his Winston Cup debut. Earnhardt will attempt to qualify a brand new Monte Carlo for Sunday's race.

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) "I'm surprised it happened here at Charlotte. We haven't been competitive here for the pole the last couple of times. Today I knew we had a shot at it. We unloaded off the truck, and the car was just great. It handled perfect. It was so comfortable. We've made a lot of changes. These guys, Robbie, Brian and all the guys on this team worked hard for this. I know they're real excited about it. We're just proud we hung on to it. I tell you what, it's things like this that are going to make this year a whole lot brighter and hopefully the end of this season will carry some momentum and get us ready for the offseason. "We drew a great number and this team has been awesome. They've really done their homework since the last time we were here. We got some good information from the other Hendrick teams. Jerry (Nadeau) and I have been talking a lot. The engine was incredible and we're happy to be able to put it to the ground. It's not by how much you get it by. It was a great lap. The car stuck like glue. It's an awesome feeling to drive one like that. "All day long the car has felt good. We drew a great late number. I was just hoping it was late enough. Bobby put up a great number, and we didn't beat it by much. The car rolled through the corner and stuck. It's been awhile since I've had a car here that qualified like that. We've had some poles here, but it's been a little while. Give a whole lot of credit to all of Hendrick Motorsports. The guys at the 25 have been helping us and the guys at the 5 car. It's been a total group effort. I can't say enough for the guys in the engine shop. They built some big steam as we call it here for Charlotte, and we were glad we could put it to the ground here tonight. "I knew we made a lot of changes to the car since May, and I was hoping it would be good when we got back. I don't think I had any idea it would be quite this good. We were quite a bit off the last time we were here. Jerry has been running great a lot of places, and he ran great here last time. That's what teammates are for. I help him out every chance I get, and he helped us out on this one. "It's always spectacular under the lights here at Charlotte. It's in everybody's backyard and everybody put in a lot of effort for this one. We didn't qualify good here in May. The car wasn't comfortable and we went to work. We tried to figure out everything we could to make it better. We went to our other two teams at Hendrick Motorsports, and they helped us out quite a bit. We're putting out a lot of steam to come over here and sit on the pole."

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Monte Carlo) "That's not good qualifying like I did here at Charlotte. You've got to qualify up front and race them guys from the front. You can't do it from the back. We've been totally junk all day in practice. We haven't been running good, and we can't put our finger on what it is. Surely we'll be racing better, but we just had a bad day with the car. It's something with the front end or something. We're missing something. It wouldn't good and it's tough to race for points starting from the rear. That's not a good way to race for points. It's the same car I ran here in the spring. The same car I ran at Texas and Michigan. I can't put my finger on it. We're talking about what the car is doing, and it's just not there like it needs to be. How to get it there I don't know. If I did, we'd put it there and go. It don't drive good." Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2000. Lowe's Motor Speedway. Bud Pole Qualifying for UAW-GM Quality 500. Chevrolet notes and quotes. Page 2.

JEFF GORDON (No. 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Monte Carlo) "It was a great lap. I can't say it was perfect. I don't know if I've ever had a perfect lap. The car just rolled through the corners so good, and it carried a lot of speed. I don't think too many guys will get through three and four any better. There was a little room going into turn one. I felt like I drove in a little easier than I should have, but it stuck so good, I was able to really get back in it hard. I'm just so proud of these guys. They deserve it. They've worked hard, and it's good to get them pumped up again. "It's been a few races since we've been spectacular here under the lights. I think you always leave something. I've never cut a perfect lap yet, and I've been racing a long time. I gave it as good a shot and the best effort I knew how to. There wasn't much I left out there. When you've got a car that drives like that, you've got to get real aggressive. It's been a little while since I've had a car that's been that comfortable. It was really just up to me to push it to the limit. I've never gone that fast here." DALE EARNHARDT JR. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We were on the pole the last race here. We brought back practically the same setup which was just a tick too loose or too free due to the fact they didn't run The Winston here a week ago. I think having a little extra rubber down on the track helped improve the setup we had for the last pole run here. That's why I think we were just a little too free tonight. I was very comfortable in turn one and thought I got through there good. Turns three and four, I totally missed it. I got on the gas too hard and got up and got in the bumps and got loose off and couldn't get back in the throttle. I feel pretty fortunate to run a .27 or whatever the tenth was. That's not too terrible to start a race in the top 20 at Charlotte. It gives you an opportunity to win. We've got one of the better cars after looking at how we raced and practiced. Running The Winston here put a lot more rubber down on the race track. Coming in that Wednesday for qualifying, we had a tick more grip. We brought the same setup back. It wasn't that comfortable this afternoon, but I tried to assure myself that this setup was built for qualifying at 9 o'clock at night with a high 40 draw or late draw. I was wrong. We were just a little bit too loose, and we've got to work on that. One thing that I will tell you is the fact we tested before we ran here in The Winston and the 600. By leaps and bounds we were a lot better. By not testing, we weren't ready. A lot of things have happened since the last race here. One lap at Charlotte as hard as you can go is one of the hardest damn things you'll ever do in your life. It's not something you just walk up and do without your heart trying to pound out of your chest and just about passing out." MIKE SKINNER (No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I might have been a little possessed. I really wanted the pole. The engine shop worked really hard to get us a good engine in this car. I might have tried a little too hard down in one. When I went out I had no grip in the front end of the race car. I think it intimidated me a little bit. I gave up just a little bit coming to the flag. When I went down there it stuck, and when I came back around I might have waited just a little too long to get back in the throttle. I'd say the car was capable of running a couple of tenths quicker which would have put us in the top five or six."

JERRY NADEAU (No. 25 Michael Holigan.com Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I thought my run was good. It was definitely a pole run. We came off one and two probably 300 rpm's more than I ever have, and I didn't realize how much speed I was carrying down in three and four. I ended up at the dirt track. I hate it for the guys because that was definitely our pole. I'm happy for Jeff Gordon. The DuPont guys did a good job and it's a good starting spot for us. We'll have a good pit position. Hopefully we'll race as good as we did in the Coca-Cola 600. We had a dominant car then, and hopefully we can do that again this weekend. "If people have been watching, we've been good all year. We've just had a lot of bad luck this year. It's a great facility. The fans are great here. This is one of the first places I ever ran a stock car before. We ran an ARCA race and finished second. Ever since then I've just really adapted well to this place. I've had some bad times here, too, but since I've been with the 25 team we've had some great runs. "Last time we were here we qualified for the outside pole. He didn't qualify well and said he was going to come back with the same setup we had. I just explained what the car felt like. It's a free setup, but it's fast, especially at night. It seems like you get a lot more grip and the car is really good. We basically had the same setup, and we were fairly close on time. He (Jeff Gordon) has done a good job and we're teammates. I'm sure it's the same thing with Bobby and Tony and everyone else. They seem to know as much about each other as they can. If I was second and he beat me, I'd be pretty (upset)."

BOBBY HAMILTON (No. 4 Kodak MAX Film Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "We were hitting the race track and we had to keep getting the car so stiff in the front it made us push. We made a last-minute adjustment and went cold turkey on it. It helped us a little bit. I'll bet we race good. It's the same car we had at Michigan and it was real fast there. It's been driving good since we unloaded. You can always tell with your first impression, so I think we'll be in good shape."

JOE NEMECHEK (No. 33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "I was a little bit too loose getting in the corners. I did pretty good in one and two but I got a little bit loose. Three and four was a little too free to go fast. Big bumps in three and four. I think there's a new concrete patch they put in, and it's tough to find the right line to get around it. The track is losing some grip, but we're running awful fast. I'll take it."

MICHAEL WALTRIP (No. 7 NationsRent Chevrolet Monte Carlo) "It was a good lap. Bobby works on the car, and Buddy Barnes is on top of the haulers watching the corners. He's got so much experience he can add to our program by telling Bobby what the cars are doing in the corners. We work well doing it like this. We picked up half a second from practice, and I really needed to. I thought the car had it in it. I pushed in practice. We made changes and it handled better. I ran 32nd in practice, but I knew what was wrong. Bobby fixed it and we laid it down in qualifying. I don't mind qualifying. It's not something I dread, so I think that helps me perform better sometimes."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Mike Skinner , Michael Ho
Teams Hendrick Motorsports